There was “great excitement” in a Dublin parish as their long-awaited new altar was dedicated by the Archbishop of Dublin.
After decades of using a temporary altar over 300 parishioners gathered for the ceremony in Sallynoggin parish earlier this month.
Parish secretary Rachel Higgins said: “There was great excitement in the parish and an overwhelming voice of approval for the completed works. We were honoured that Archbishop Martin came to Our Lady of Victories to dedicate the new Altar. The ceremony is not one that is often experienced in a parish.”
The temporary altar was installed in Our Lady of Victories Church in Sallynoggin/Glenageary in 1977 for the ordination of now-Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin diocese – who used to be a parishioner.
The altar served its purpose over the next 30 years. While there were many plans for refurbishment during this time funds did not allow for any improvements. By 2010 it was becoming increasingly evident that the altar was not structurally sound.
Fr Padraig Gleeson was appointed to the church in 2013 and soon realised that the sanctuary was in serious need of repair or replacement.
A committee of parishioners was formed and architect Adrian Buckley was engaged to look at a new design. Ms Higgins said that from its inception to completion the parishioners were kept informed of the various suggestions from the committee and the architect via the parish bulletin and on notice boards in the church.
Ms Higgins said: “Finally we settled on a wooden altar which was designed by ICS Church Furniture from Co. Leitrim and the sanctuary itself was constructed by local builder John Nutty of JNY Construction.
“During the renovations we had marvellous support from our parishioners who helped clean the church and grounds every Saturday in preparation for our weekend Masses. Many parishioners took great interest in the daily progress of the construction. They frequently pointed out to Fr Padraig what needed to be done or had been omitted.”
She added that Fr Padraig appreciated people using their “natural gifts and experience” to contribute to the project’s success.
It took approximately four months from the beginning in late January to the dedication of the new altar on May 5 by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.